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From the Editors: Explaining theoretical relationships in international business research: Focusing on the arrows, NOT the boxes


  • David C Thomas

    (Area Editor)

  • Alvaro Cuervo-Cazurra

    (Reviewing Editor)

  • Mary Yoko Brannen

    (Deputy Editor)


Distinctive features of articles accepted by the Journal of International Business Studies are that they are multidisciplinary in scope and interdisciplinary in content and methodology, and they make a substantial theoretical contribution to international business studies. Failure to meet this last requirement is an often cited reason given by reviewers for article rejection. Sometimes reviewers mean that a manuscript does not conform to the dominant paradigm, in that it is not the next logical step in the study of a phenomenon, or they mean that there is little if any integration of several theories used to explain a phenomenon. However, perhaps the most common underlying meaning when reviewers cite “lack of a theoretical contribution” for rejection is that the nature of the relationships proposed is not well explained. While the first two meanings may be influenced by the specific discipline or methodology involved, this final one is not. In this editorial we provide a set of guidelines that authors can use to ensure that their paper meets the standard of explaining the logic of the relationships they propose.

Suggested Citation

  • David C Thomas & Alvaro Cuervo-Cazurra & Mary Yoko Brannen, 2011. "From the Editors: Explaining theoretical relationships in international business research: Focusing on the arrows, NOT the boxes," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 42(9), pages 1073-1078, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:jintbs:v:42:y:2011:i:9:p:1073-1078

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Huizinga, Harry, 2004. "Market discipline and deposit insurance," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 375-399, March.
    2. Demirguc-Kunt, Asli & Karacaovali, Baybars & Laeven, Luc, 2005. "Deposit insurance around the world : a comprehensive database," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3628, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Martin, Xavier & van den Oever, K.F., 2013. "Progress, maturity or exhaustion? Sources and modes of theorizing on the international strategy - performance relationship (1990-2011)," Other publications TiSEM 656747af-da51-4917-92fd-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.

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